Reading assessment tools are only one piece of the puzzle and we need to treat the assigned levels in a way that reflects that. The reading assessment tool can only tell us what level a student is at on one day at one time with one book. There is so much more to a reader than what you can gather from one reading assessment. We can’t let their assigned level limit them.
Take time to listen to them read the book that they can’t put down, the book that’s about their favourite video game, or a book they find hilarious. Listen for the word patterns they struggle with, ask them genuine questions about the book and plan your instruction around moving them forward.
Give them time to find these books and texts that spark a love for reading. Read aloud to them. Model how much you love reading. Surround them with good books and teach them that reading everywhere and can take place anywhere.
“Reading is like bathing, you have to do it every day. You can’t just take four showers on Monday and be good for the week”
Remember that reading can happen everywhere and doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. Reading is not limited to leveled books or books at all. It’s okay if they have read the same book 4 times, they’re building confidence. It’s okay if they’re choosing to read a book that you think is above their level, they’re exposing themselves to words they’ve never seen before and making meaning of what they can read. Let them read without limiting them.